Here in revolutionary Egypt, rumors pile up faster than cigarette butts in a student bar district on a Friday night. For the most part, I’ve found it safe to assume that no one really knows or understands what’s going on in the political process. Those who claim they get it are either idiots, lying idiots, or just liars. Some people do know more than others, but they are few and far between.
This uncertainty leads to one of CASA students favorite daily activities: blind speculation fueled by sleep deprivation, emotion, breakfast foods, and twitter feeds. The results of this speculation can be quite surprising and often completely wrong, but this is nothing compared to the gems that fly around Cairo as a whole. Here’s an (exaggerated) sample of what happens.
The Rumor Mill
Fact: a small group of protesters has gathered in Tahrir and is calling for the end of military trials for civilians. There is a heavy police presence, but no violence. Some participants and bystanders are eating sandwiches. Meanwhile, a woman was going to get some groceries when she tripped on a curb. No one was injured.
(the actual occurrences proceed through the rumor mill)
I heard on twitter that the Egyptian government hired a squad of armed spaghetti aliens that entered Tahrir square making a horrible “WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP” sound and drenching the men, women, and children there with low-grade spaghetti sauce. They’re trying to drown the revolution in bland tomato goop!
Someone else said that the aliens were Israeli and were sprinkling the victims with tiny parmesan stars of David—-the hand of Israel AGAIN!
Yeah! And my friend told me that her sister’s boyfriend’s friend’s cousin’s facebook status said that all foreigners in the square have somehow remained clean of spaghetti sauce, so they’re definitely part of the conspiracy. The universe is attacking the Egyptian people!
But I heard that the protesters were fighting back with stolen chopstick launchers they stole from the police force and that they had also commandeered a militarized Zamboni from the army and were running over valiant army officers, who they claim to be mercenary spaghetti aliens. The protesters are THUGS!
And state radio said that the concert going on in Tahrir square might cause an excess amount of noise for the next few days and that it might sound like “WOOP WOOP WOOP WOOP.” It also said that the Egyptian government would never do anything to hurt its people. I think we should believe them!
But my friend saw a soggy scrap of paper on the ground that said there were a bunch of Salafis in the square wooping it up and calling for the imposition of Sharia law under the absolute jurisdiction of an infant that would be chosen by the most righteous man in the country as determined by a reality television show. I’m going to protest against them!
Don’t be ridiculous! It was the Muslim Brotherhood putting on their annual dodgeball tournament in order to raise money to buy all of the ground water in Egypt so that they can blackmail the government into giving it supreme power. I’m going to protest against THEM!
I thought I heard someone say they read an email that mentioned the possibility of class being cancelled, so we should probably stay up all night and not do homework. Woot Woot! No class!